Chichester sailors more worried about storms than snowflakes
Chichester Yacht Club’s latest Snowflake races took place on a day forecast to have a rising wind speed and end up gusty and wet.
Race officer Pete Harrison aimed to have two races and get off the water before the weather turned nasty. As it was the conditions were good for the duration and the 48 competitors enjoyed some fast downwind reaches.
In the 19-boat fast fleet, the frontrunners over the water in series race three were Andrew Gould in his Musto Skiff, Ben and Roz McGrane in a Merlin, David Sayce and Nick Rees in a Fireball, and Steve and Sarah Cockerill in their RS400.
The Merlin and Fireball took an early lead on the first lap, but the Skiff overhauled them and led by almost two minutes at the finish. After handicaps were applied the Merlin took first place followed by the Fireball and the RS400 with the Skiff fourth.
In race four Steve and Sarah Cockerill made the most of the increased wind and demonstrated great downwind speed to win the race, followed by the McGranes in the Merlin with the Fireball in third.
After four races, the Fast Fleet series is led by the McGranes with three wins from four races, closely followed by the Cockerills.
The medium fleet had 21 boats, and in race three Iain and Sarah Yardley took the win in their 2000 followed by Mark Riddington in an Aero 7 and CYC’s Ian Payne sailing his Laser.
In race four, the Yardleys took another win, followed by Mike and Paula Oliff also sailing a 2000, with Riddington’s higher speed over the water converting to third place after the handicap.
After four Medium fleet races the Yardleys’ 2000 is in first place, with Riddington’s Aero7 second, Alex Butler’s Solo third and CYC’s Olliffs fourth.
The slow fleet had eight competitors, made up of a Laser 4.7, Toppers, Mirrors and a Feva XL. In race three Zak Smith’s Laser won by five minutes over the water which converted to a comfortable minute after the handicap was applied.
Second place went to CYC’s Bas Bush and Oliver Tate sailing a Mirror.
In race four Smith took the first place, followed by Sebastian Wattam in his Topper.
Smith has a clear series lead, from CYC’s Chester Banton.
The next Snowflake races are on February 9 (10:30am start).